12 days of green shopping: Fashion accessories

Photo: istockphoto.com/Russell Tate/

Pick out some green bling and other things for the holiday season. There's never been a better time for eco-chic accessories.

Acclaimed Brazilian designer Marzio Fiorini has discovered a new use for old tires -- he has transformed them into wearable art. His necklaces manage to exude opulence while being environmentally friendly. Necklaces come with matching earrings, cuffs and chokers. Be green and chic.

Old is new again at the hands of Bueno Design. Freelance designer Christi York rescues discarded vintage jewellery and updates them for a fresh new look.

Teresa Smed of Dotted loop also revamps vintage jewellery and antique materials to create glam accessories.

Wired Resistance has scoured local Chicago industries for discarded alternator wire and rubber as well as surplus resistors and transistors to create eye-catching jewellery.

That special guy deserves special cufflinks. Typewriter Cufflinks are made from authentic typewriter keys with no glue used. No two pairs are alike and you can mix and match.

Pick out a conflict free Canadian diamond, free of violence and human rights abuse from Brilliant Earth. Find the perfect pendant, earrings and rings with these green diamonds.

Elegant bags
All that green bling will need a perfect handbag to match. Helen E Riegle creates HER eco-chic bags using a variety of organic textiles like cotton, hemp, linen and vegan leather in combination with eco-sensitive inks, glues, and solvents. These are bags you can feel good about carrying.

Vancouver based designer Jody Phillips has created the Nanna line, which offers one-of-a-kind handbags made with recycled material. Perfect for carrying everything around, including your laptop.

District Cotton offers some very groovy bags constructed from discarded roadside billboards. Carry something beautifully unique that is sure to get you noticed.

Red Flag Design from Vancouver breathes new like into sailcloth and hypalon (a rubber material known for its durability) turning them into distinctive totes in a variety of sizes.

Kenya is suffering from the effects of global warming and you can help by purchasing a hand-woven sisal bag from one of the local women's co-operatives. Sold by Cebra Ethical Chic, these feel-good bags have a fantastic array of colours.

Eco-handbags specializes in offering the conscientious consumer unique and fashionable handbags created from recycled and eco-friendly materials. They have an amazing assortment.

Bags for the road
The sturdy Voltaic Backpack has a solar panels and a battery pack with 11 adapters for easy connection to all handheld devices. The shell is made from recycled PET making this portable battery tough, light weight and water resistant.

Greenloop sells the Vy & Elle toiletries bag made with MMT billboard. Roomy and versatile, the interior has a zipper wall pocket with a fully wipeable lining. Outside has zipper pockets and there's plenty of room inside and outside.

For the credit cards
Pick out a PVC free, chlorine free, biodegradable and vegan wallet from db clay. Each wallet has a unique design made from their custom textile called "tope". Durable, exquisite and unique.

Green unmentionables
Wendy van Riesen's Vancouver-based clothing line Dahlia Drive has taken all those slips and other unmentionables that never see the light of day and transformed them into eye-catching fashion statements.

Leave it to the French to create sexy and green lingerie. Peau-Ethique makes organic cotton lingerie, tights and night clothes that many women will be thrilled to get at Christmas. It also has a terrific line for men and children.

Stay warm
Zazou sells a variety of wonderful scarves, shawls and wraps created with sustainable bamboo and silk in a variety of colours and lengths.

Greenloop has an excellent assortment of cashmere gloves, hats and scarves for both men and women.

Kara Taub has created two-tone scarves made from 100 percent Bamboo fiber that are ultra-soft with a gorgeous drape. Echo makes a bamboo wrap that is free of pesticides or chemicals in a variety of luxurious colours.

Pick out a pair of cosiest slippers from the Snow Leopard Trust. Made out of sheep and camel wool with hand-embroidery by the artisans in the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, and Pakistan, these slippers provide an an income for these remote communities. In turn the surrounding environment is saved from further destructions, enabling the endangered snow leopard to survive. It's a great way to buy a sustainable gift that supports wildlife.

Haven't found it yet?
Try these other companies for other green accessories:

  • Adili
  • Eco Accessories
  • Equita
  • Inhabitat
  • Natural Collection
  • Sprig Eco-accessories
  • Anne Colvey is an environmental journalist based in Quebec. She credits the French for her interest in fashion accessories.